The Jewish Vote Continues a Century-Long Legacy of NYC Jewish Left Organizing

NYC's first Muslim woman in City Council, the first JFREJ member elected to citywide office, and more.

Today, The Jewish Vote celebrates numerous incredible electoral victories that have reshaped our City Council with an even more powerful progressive and even radical flank, while making important strides in pockets of the city through the building of unprecedented multiracial and multifaith coalitions dedicated to confronting entrenched conservative forces.

Learn more about JFREJ's electoral arm, The Jewish Vote

We are so proud of all of our candidates, those who won, and those who did not. Every single candidate ran on a bold platform that JFREJ members were proud to support. With the support of the Jewish Vote, the incoming New York City Council will include: feminist champion Shahana Hanif, our city's first Muslim woman elected to council; Black queer socialist Kristin Richardson Jordan, the youngest Black woman elected to city council; and fifteen other incredible socialists and reformers alike — Rita Joseph, Alexa Avilés, Amanda Farías, Crystal Hudson, Lincoln Restler, Chi Ossé, Tiffany Cabán, Gale Brewer, Althea Stevens, Jennifer Gutiérrez, Sandy Nurse, Pierina Sanchez, and Carmen de la Rosa. We helped reelect NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and sent the first JFREJ member, Brad Lander, to citywide office as NYC's next Comptroller.

Running for office isn’t easy, but these leaders, as well as the incredible Felicia Singh, were brave enough to go up against conservatives and the machine to demand more for our city.

Our victories did not come out of nowhere. In a few short years, JFREJ's dedicated and visionary membership built out a powerful vehicle for The Jewish Vote to play a strategic and energizing role in advancing a transformational agenda for our city — redefining public understanding of what "the Jewish Vote" is in the process: The Jewish Vote is a vote for affordable housing, quality jobs, universal care, and real community safety. It is a vote rooted in solidarity across difference, for a real pluralistic democracy where nobody is left behind and everybody thrives.

The Jewish Left has accomplished huge things in New York City. Not just this past cycle, with 18 primary electoral victories and 17 general election wins. The Jewish Left has accomplished so much over the past century, as New York Jews have worked alongside our neighbors to shape the city we know and love:

Arm in arm with our neighbors, the Jewish Left overcame powerful opposition from corrupt political machines, big real estate, and the New York and Tammany Hall establishment. We won labor protections and safe workplaces. Affordable housing. 24-hour subways and buses. Legal abortion. Public hospitals and clinics. Free school meals. Public infrastructure for immigrants and refugees.

That’s the legacy all of us organizing at JFREJ and mobilizing The Jewish Vote carry with us today. It is a legacy of radical ideas with mass popular appeal. All the liberties and public services we have now were radical when first proposed. Some of them still are. Some of them we are still fighting for. But radical doesn’t mean ineffective or marginal. Rank Choice Voting was radical; it’s how Jewish socialists and communists in New York got elected back in the day. We won it. Decriminalizing sex work is radical. We are going to win it. Defunding the police and investing in our communities is radical. We are going to win that too.

In a city with such a large Jewish population, the Jews of the early- and mid-20th Century understood the power of the Jewish vote. So do we. We know that the caring policies JFREJ and The Jewish Vote rally behind reflect the priorities of our people. We are radical, proudly so. But we are also loud, passionate, and effective. And no one will push us to the margins.

Like the Jewish Leftists who came before us, we will continue to organize, to use the power of the Jewish vote to keep shaping our beloved New York City into the caring, equitable, and sustainable home we deserve.

Please watch the ‘thank you’ message below that we shared with our candidates and community after the primary election in June 2021 at our four-borough celebrations on Tu B’Av (the Jewish holiday of love):

See photos of The Jewish Vote's work over the 2021 election cycle here.